REVIEW: Three Phantoms, Theatre Royal

For any fan of musical theatre, Three Phantoms is an exceedingly enjoyable night of glamour with vocal and visual splendour. The source of the songs performed vary from Kiss Me Kate to Spamalot and Wicked to West Side Story. The small cast – consisting of three male leads, a female lead, three experienced

and respected backing singers and only two members of an orchestra playing the piano and a cello named Simba – flow seemlessly from song to song, remaining in character and making this concert an absolute treat to witness.

During the Three Phantoms‘ Summer UK Tour, the three leading men were Earl Carpenter, Matthew Cammelle and Stephen John Davis. As suggested by the title of the show, all three west end performers have played the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera at some point in their career. Throughout the show, all three performers gave a little insight to their experiences as the Phantom by telling various anecdotes of their time in Phantom and performed a harmonised version of Music of the Night at the end of the concert. All three men, and everyone else on the stage, had also performed in Les Misérables, a fact that came in very handy during their five song tribute to the show which included an incredible version of One Day More which left the audience with goosebumps on their arms and shivers down their spines.
Leading lady of the night, Rebecca Caine, is no stranger to the stage. She originated the role of Cosette in Les Misérables in the West End twenty seven years ago and also played the role of Christine in Phantom of the Opera opposite Michael Crawford, Dave Willetts and Colm Wilkinson. Her soprano voice has also taken her to the world of opera where she has performed in Lulu, Hamlet and La Boheme to name only a few. Head to toe in sequins for Act One, Caine brought glamour and style to the show as she swept across the stage singing songs from Into the Woods, My Fair Lady and was even joined by the two female backing singers, Annette Yeo and Mandy Watsham Dunstall to perform Make Him Mine from The Witches of Eastwick. A highlight of the show was Caine’s rendition of Think of Me. Still performing the same choreography she learned over twenty years ago, Caine dazzled as her voice soared higher and higher during the famous cadenza towards the end of the number making Think of Me one of the most memorable songs of the evening.
A special mention must go out to Alistair Barron, the only male backing singer who, after an entire act of being ‘bullied’ by the cast, finally got his chance to shine during an impressive performance of the Four Seasons song Big Girls Don’t Cry. I take my hat off to Ben Cracknell, the lighting designer. Never before have I been struck by the beauty of lighting. Cracknell’s dramatic designs added to the excitement and, in my personal opinion, was the icing on the cake, giving the show just that extra bit of oomph.
If you’re a theatre regular or a quiet admirer from afar this show is guaranteed to delight you.Three Phantoms takes off on their Autumn tour (with a new Phantom – Glyn Kerslake) in September 2013. Do not miss this wonderful production!

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